Saturday, September 22, 2012
6:00 pm (EST), ESPN3
The Citadel (3-0) at NC State (2-1) Sept. 22, 6:00, ESPN3
Here's The Deal: North Carolina State has begun to build some momentum after losing the opener with Tennessee. The Pack still has a lot of work to do, but back-to-back wins over Connecticut and South Alabama will make practice and film study a little more bearable. It has one more game to smooth out the wrinkles before beginning ACC play with a trip to Miami.
The Citadel is hot, ranked for the first time in four years and looking to expand its splash at the expense of NC State. The Bulldogs are not only unbeaten, but have surprised powerhouses Georgia Southern and Appalachian State in consecutive games.
Why The Citadel Might Win: The ground game is deep and unrelenting. The Bulldogs are No. 3 in the FCS in rushing, averaging a whopping 370 yards a game. QB Ben Dupree and running backs Darien Robinson and Rickey Anderson have all authored 100-yard games this month, operating the triple-option to perfection. This is one of those games that NC State's dearth of proven linebackers could really haunt the defense.
The Pack's defensive strength is in the secondary, but the likes of CB David Amerson could be neutralized on Saturday.
Why NC State Might Win: The Citadel is a different animal, but the Pack D has played well since Week 1, allowing just seven points in each of the last two games.
The Bulldogs' bigger concern will be containing an ACC offense. They don't get much of a push at the line, which won't change in Raleigh. Mike Glennon will have the time he needs to locate Quintin Payton and Bryan Underwood on patterns, and Tony Creecy might finally be able to get the necrotic running game back on track.
What To Watch Out For: Although the Pack has risen on defense against offensive lightweights, building confidence is crucial for a mediocre collection of talent. Winning the line of scrimmage will be essential to slowing down The Citadel this week.
State got a boost from the return of DT A.J. Ferguson, who had been set back by academic hurdles. In his first action of the season, he chipped in with a pair of sacks and a forced fumble.
What Will Happen: For NC State, this is not the ordinary FCS scrimmage prior to the start of league play. No, The Citadel is a threat to walk out of Carter-Finley Stadium 4-0.
The Pack isn't playing with enough offensive execution to jet past the Bulldogs. Plus, the visitor's ball-control mindset will limit State's touches. The Pack will survive on the strength of Glennon's arm and leadership, but it won't happen without plenty of tense moments for the home crowd.
CFN Prediction: NC State 30 … The Citadel 24
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) NL O/U: NL
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ray Lewis: A Football Life, 1 – Frankenweenie): 1.5
PUT PRESSURE ON THE BULLDOGS
Nothing will disrupt a triple option attack more than an opposing offense that is putting up points consistently.
One of the biggest ways NC State can help out its defense is to put together some time consuming drives and then close out those drives with points. The need to keep pace with the opposition can put a lot of pressure on a triple option offense and those systems aren't nearly as effective when they're forced to play from behind.
So far in 2012 The Citadel has performed extremely well defensively. They've given up 21 points per game and rank 40th nationally in scoring defense. The Bulldogs most impressive defensive outing was against Georgia Southern. They came in to their game with The Citadel as one of the top offenses on the FCS level but were held to just 21 points.
Clearly State will provide a much bigger challenge offensively but just a year ago, The Citadel gave South Carolina all they wanted in a mid-season matchup.
The Pack looked strong offensively for two quarters last week against South Alabama before shutting it down to some degree in the second half. This very well may be a game where State needs to keep the pedal down throughout, put points on the board and at the very least, not allow The Citadel to dictate the game through their rushing offense. If the Pack is able to have success on offense then there's a very good chance that will translate over to the defense.
ACCOUNT FOR NO. 77
NC State fans may remember the name Chris Billinglea. He's a guy that the Wolfpack showed quite a bit of interest in while still in high school. However, the Pack never offered and Billingslea ended up at The Citadel.
Now a redshirt senior, the 6-5, 265 defensive lineman has played his way onto some NFL watch lists and is a player that NC State has to be aware of. He was the Southern Conference player of the week after week one and has tallied 19 tackles, one sack, two pass breakups and a forced fumble through three games.
Billinsglea will very likely come into the game looking for something to prove so the Wolfpack must account for him and make sure he's not allowed to make plays that could result in momentum swings.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF MATCHUPS
When NC State's wide receivers go up against The Citadel defensive backs they should have a distinct advantage in athleticism and speed. Quinton Payton, in particular, should be able to take advantage when he's matched up against CB Sadath Jean-Pierre (5-10) or S Davis Boyle (5-10).
Tobais Palmer and Bryan Underwood should also be able to exploit the Bulldog secondary with their speed although giving QB Mike Glennon time to set up is key.
The Citadel comes in to the NC State game having notched just four sacks through three games so this is clearly a contest where the offensive line should be able to give Glennon the time to go down field.
Physically, the Pack has the size to open holes in the Citadel front four but to date, accomplishing that has been easier said than done. Certainly State will hope to take a step forward on Saturday evening and show some progress with their rushing attack.
NC State Defense vs. The Citadel Offense
When people talk about defending the triple-option offense, "assignment football" seems to be the most popular catch phrase. The prevailing thought being, you assign a defender to cover each of the three options and if you don't get caught up covering someone else's responsibility, you can effectively defend the offense.
This is only partly true. Being assigned to cover a particular option and actually getting there to make the tackle are two different things entirely. What makes a good option attack great is the precision of their blocking schemes, and The Citadel has done a great job of executing up front and completing their assignments.
For NC State it boils down to winning one-on-one battles. If the linebackers and defensive backs are blocked and allow themselves to stay blocked, The Citadel will run the football at will. The Wolfpack defenders have to beat their man at the point of attack and get to the player they're responsible to cover. Beyond that, they have to take smart angles to the football and try to force ball-carriers back inside where they have tackling help.
The Bulldogs will put a lot of pressure on the NC State corners because they will have to get involved in run support. This may not be as big a deal as with some other programs because the Pack tends to involve it's defensive backs in the run game already.
However, it gets back to beating blocks and making a play on the ball carrier. The Wolfpack defenders have to stay on their feet to give themselves a chance to make a play.
If they can't get off blocks, it's going to be a long night for the Wolfpack.
WIN THE TRENCHES
The strength of State's defense so far has been their ability to stuff the run. State is currently No. 18 nationally in rushing defense, yielding just 92.3 yards per game and it has been due to the effective play of the front seven and sure-tackling in the secondary.
Sophomore defensive tackles T.Y. McGill and Thomas Teal are coming on strong and making their presence felt, and the Wolfpack's depth across the front line has allowed them to rotate in defenders and stay fresh all game.
NC State head coach Tom O'Brien and defensive coordinator Mike Archer have said all week that a huge key for the defense will be the play of the front four, specifically the defensive tackles. Priority No. 1 to defending the triple-option is taking away the fullback dive.
State's tackles have to shut down the dive early. Also, the front four are going to have to occupy blocks so the Pack linebackers can fly to the football and make tackles in space. If The Citadel's linemen can get to the second level and block linebackers, it's going to be a big problem for the Pack.
Georgia Tech uses an offense very similar to The Citadel and State played the Yellow Jackets the previous two years. The Wolfpack won in Atlanta in 2010 and leading the way was middle linebacker Nate Irving, who had 20 tackles. State's defensive line was dominant, re-establishing the line of scrimmage and allowing Irving to roam and make plays.
State has to do that this weekend and it's going to be up to Teal, McGill, and defensive ends Art Norman, Brian Slay, Darryl Cato-Bishop and others to penetrate into the backfield, blow up the dive, and allow Sterling Lucas and the rest of the linebackers to bring down runners in space.
Against The Citadel, anything short of seven points is a stop as far as the defense is concerned. The Pack will give up yards against the Bulldogs... it's hard to completely shutdown triple-option offenses because of their ability eventually pop a few big plays throughout the course of the game.
First of all, State has to win on first down. They need to put The Citadel in 2nd-and-long/3rd-and-medium situations so the Bulldogs are forced to pass and not simply grind away at the Pack's front seven.
Also, getting off the field on third down is critical, but The Citadel isn't afraid to go for it on fourth down so the Pack defense is going to need to be prepared to play all four downs of each possession tomorrow night.
Fially, State has to generate turnovers. That will be key. If NC State wins the turnover battle they should be able to win comfortably because the expectation is that The Citadel's defense is going to struggle with the Wolfpack's offense.
Accomplishing all of this won't be easy against an offense that comes in averaging 6.3 yards per carry and 24 yards per pass completion. The Bulldogs are averaging 466 yards of total offense and 41 points in the three wins.
They are very good at what they do, but they also haven't faced a defense yet like NC State's. Look for the Wolfpack to get the stops needed to get off the field... they better because if they don't they could get upset.
NC State Game Notes
The Wolfpack of NC State should face a formidable FCS opponent when The Citadel comes to Raleigh on Saturday, fresh off a road upset of seventh-ranked Appalachian State. The previous week, the Bulldogs upset Georgia Southern, the team that was ranked third in the FCS polls.
The Bulldogs rushed for 463 yards in the win at Boone, and their triple option offense is averaging 466 yards per game.
The Wolfpack has faced the Bulldogs four times, but the teams haven't met on the gridiron since 1983, when State shut out the visiting Bulldogs, 45-0. The other three meetings took place in 1940 (a 20-14 Pack win), 1938 (a 14-6 Pack win) and in 1937 (a 26-14 Pack win). The 1938 contest was played in Wilmington.
LEADING THE WAY
The Citadel might be the military college competing in Saturday's game, but NC State and the Wolfpack football program has a proud military background as well. NC State has produced more four-star generals and admirals than any institution beside the service academics.
Over 50 NC State alumni have achieved the rank of Brigadier General or higher in the United States Military. The first four star officer at NCSU, General Maxwell R. Thurman, a former Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. Hugh Shelton, now retired, was a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a four star general. General Dan McNeill currently commands the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. General William C. Lee is often referred to as the "Father of the U.S. Airborne."
NC State offers Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs for the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. The first Army ROTC was established at NC State in 1917.
And head coach Tom O'Brien graduated from the Naval Academy and reached the rank of Major in the Marines before resigning his commission in 1980.
‘57 TEAM TO BE HONORED
More than two dozen surviving members of NC State's 1957 ACC Championship team will hold a 55th anniversary reunion this weekend before and during the Wolfpack's Military Appreciation Day contest against The Citadel.
Led by All-American Dick Christy, the Wolfpack finished the season with a 7-1-2 record, beginning with a season-opening win over North Carolina and including a memorable 14-14 tie against Duke at Riddick Stadium. Coach Earl Edwards' team was strong on defense, blanking the Tar Heels, Florida State. Miami, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech and snagging 15 interceptions. The most memorable part of the season, however, was the offensive performance of a single player -- the late Christy -- in the season finale against South Carolina.
The Wolfpack went into the Nov. 23, 1957, contest at Columbia, S.C., with a chance to win the ACC title, needing to win its game and for North Carolina to beat Duke in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Tar Heels did their part early in the day, but the Wolfpack tied 26-26 with the Gamecocks when time expired. However, South Carolina's defense was called for pass interference on the final play, moving the ball to the 36-yard line.
Christy, who had never made a field goal in his four-year college career, convinced Edwards to let him try the game-winning kick. He had already scored the Wolfpack's other points on the day with four rushing touchdowns and a pair of point-after-touchdown kicks. But he had also missed two PATs. Christy had taken over as placekicker for captain Dick Hunter, his backfield running mate who had missed his last seven extra points.
Christy's low line drive sailed through the air for nearly six seconds before going through the uprights, clinching NC State's first conference title since 1927. It was the only field goal the team made all season.
HOME SWEET HOME
With Saturday's win over South Alabama, the Wolfpack has now posted a 12-2 record at home over the past two-plus seasons. In 2010 and again in 2011, State dropped just one home game - both to a visiting ranked team. State defeated No. 7 Clemson in Carter-Finley in 2011.
The road has been a little bit tougher, as the victory over UConn on September 8 was the Pack's first over a non-conference BCS school on the road since an overtime victory at Texas Tech in 2002.
THE WORD ON THIRD
In the last two games - victories over Connecticut and South Alabama, third downs have not been a pleasant place for the Pack's opposition to be. In the last two games combined, a staunch Wolfpack defense has held the opponents to a 2-23 mark on third down conversions and an 0-3 mark on fourth down attempts.
Mike Archer's defensive unit held South Alabama without a third or fourth down conversion on the game as the Jaguars finished 0-for-11 on third down and 0-for-1 on fourth. The last time NC State had held a team without a third down conversion came in 1992, when the Pack forced Virginia Tech to an 0-for-12 mark, a span of 228 games.
AMERSON AT IT AGAIN
The 15th interception of Wolfpack junior cornerback David Amerson's career showed why they call it a theft. The returning All-American and Tatum Award winner actually ripped the ball out of the receiver's hand.
Amerson now ranks second in NC State history in career interceptions and is tied for 14th in ACC history. He set the State and ACC single-season marks in 2011 with the second-best mark in FBS history - 13.
In 2011, Amerson was one of three finalists for the Thorpe Award, was a first-team Walter Camp All-American. He broke the record that had been set just a few years before he was born: Art Rooney (of the Pittsburgh Steeler Rooneys) held the record with eight in 1937 and again in 1938! He returned two picks for scores, also a BCS best, and led the national ranks in INT return yards with 205.
WIDE RECEIVERS OLD, INEXPERIENCED
The wide receiver spot was an area of concern heading into the 2012 campaign, as both starters from last season and another senior graduated. In the first three games of 2012, quarterback Mike Glennon has thrown the ball to 12 different players: receivers, halfbacks, fullbacks and tight ends. Five different wide receivers have caught passes.
Starters Quintin Payton and Tobais Palmer are leading the team in receptions, both with a dozen in the young season. Payton, a junior, scored his first career touchdown in the win over South Alabama and led the team with five catches for 61 yards. He was also the leader in the opener with Tennessee, with four catches for 129 yards.
Palmer, a senior, has not gotten into the endzone this season, although he is the most experienced of the Pack's wideouts and had five TDs in 2011. Sophomore Bryan Underwood has been the most prolific receiver in terms of scoring, with a touchdown in each game. Three of his seven grabs this season have been for touchdowns.
Junior Rashard Smith, a converted cornerback, also pulled in his first touchdown in the win over South Alabama. He has just two catches for the season.
UNDERWOOD LIKES THE LONG BALL
At 5'11, 174, sophomore wideout Bryan Underwood is the most diminutive member of the NC State wide receiver corps, but that doesn't stop him from reaching out for the long pass.
Underwood leads the team in scoring with three touchdowns this season - a mark which ties for sixth in the ACC in touchdown scoring. For his career, he has caught five TD passes.
Four of his five scoring grabs have been for 33 or more yards. Last season he scored on a 33- and a 79-yarder at Virginia and this season has caught TDs for 44 and 46 yards, along with a five-yard catch versus Tennessee.
It's fitting that the Grandpa of the Wolfpack defense should be named WOLFF. Senior safety Earl Wolff has played in 41 career games, more than any player on the 2012 NC State squad. The veteran of 2,017 snaps from scrimmage and another 400+ on special teams, is also the team leader with 286 career tackles.
Wolff was instrumental in the Pack's win at UConn on Sept. 8, racking up seven tackles (including five first hits or solos) according to the coaches' game film, even though he played just three quarters and played just after leaving with an injury. He was in for just 47 snaps, his lowest total since midway through the 2010 season. He was named the ACC Player of the Week at defensive back.
In the first half, with Connecticut driving, Wolff pulled down the fifth interception of his career and returned it 16 yards. But his biggest play of the game was on the interception that he missed. In the third quarter, with State up 3-0, he barely missed a pick and the pass was completed behind him. Immediately after the catch, fellow safety Brandan Bishop forced a fumble and Wolff was there to fall on it. That gave the Pack the ball at the UConn 41 and three plays later, State scored its only touchdown of the afternoon.
That was the second fumble recovery of Wolff's career. He is tied for fifth in school history with seven caused fumbles.
NC State's pair of super safeties were the team's leading tacklers in the season opener and are two of the most experienced players on the 2012 Wolfpack squad. Brandan Bishop has 36 career starts, the highest mark on the team, while Earl Wolff has 33, which ties as the second-highest mark.
Wolff posted a career-high 18 tackles in the season opening loss to Tennessee, including a pair of stops behind the line of scrimmage. Bishop turned in 10 stops, including one for loss, and also caused a fumble on the goalline to prevent a Volunteer score at the end of the first half.
Wolff has made 286 career tackles, the highest mark on the squad, while Bishop has 227 career stops to his credit. Those two totals constitute 47 % (513 of 1,099) of the career tackles on the 2012 Wolfpack squad.
A STERLING COMEBACK
Senior middle linebacker Sterling Lucas has been somewhere that no other player on the squad has been: the coaches' box. Lucas was forced to redshirt last season after suffering a knee injury in preseason camp.
Although he was devastated to miss what was supposed to be his senior campaign, he decided that he wanted to be just as involved in the daily preparations as any of the players in uniform. When he wasn't in treatment, he was at practice. And on game days, instead of watching from the sidelines, he asked if he could sit in the coaches' box, so he could hear how the game progressed from that viewpoint.
Lucas, who led the team in tackles at Connecticut with eight, says that he learned a great deal during his 13 games in the coaches' box that he can translate into play on the field.
Heading into the 2012 campaign, the Wolfpack offensive line was one of the most solidly entrenched (no pun intended) units on the squad. All five starters on the OL had started games previously during their careers, while four plus a projected backup had been season-long starters.
In order to get the most experienced, most talented players on the field, the coaching staff did some shifting in the preseason. Senior R.J. Mattes moved to the fourth starting position of his career, left guard, so that talented junior Rob Crisp could man the left tackle spot. Andrew Wallace, a season-long starter at guard two years ago, moved over to right tackle. Center Cam Wentz and right guard Zach Allen stayed put. The unit entered fall camp in that alignment.
That continuity was broken just two weeks into the season, when starting left tackle Rob Crisp, was unable to compete due to an injury suffered in the season opener. Backup right tackle Tyson Chandler, a redshirt sophomore, has started in Crisp's spot in the last two games.
PACK PICKS UP THE PICKS
The Wolfpack led the nation in interceptions last season, committing 27 acts of aerial thievery - the second-best mark in ACC history. In only one game last season did the defense fail to pick off a pass and that was versus Georgia Tech, a team that threw just 12 times, completing just four in the entire game. In the last three games of 2011, the Pack pulled down seven total interceptions.
So the season opener was a bit of a downer for the State defensive secondary, as they failed to get their hands on any passes. The team has gotten back on the plus side, however, in the last two games, as the Pack now is tied for the ACC lead with five pics for the season - a mark that ties for 11th nationally. Against UConn, State intercepted three passes. Safety Earl Wolff started the pick parade early in the second quarter, gathering in the fifth interception of his career and returning it 16 yards. Next, the Pickoff Artist, David Amerson, got into the action, pulling down the 14th of his career (he set the ACC single-season record with 13 in 2011). And finally, at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Brandan Bishop pulled a pick, the 10th of his career.
Amerson had another against South Alabama, while backup safety Hakim Jones intercepted his first career pass.
Over the last two years, NC State is 6-0 when recording at least three interceptions in a game.
In 2012, Wolfpack head coach Tom O'Brien has a luxury that he hasn't been afforded in previous campaigns with the Wolfpack: senior starters. In first two games of the season, 11 spots on offense and defense have been manned by seniors who have had starting experience prior to 2012.
That number is almost double the most senior starting experience O'Brien has had during his first five years with the Wolfpack. The number is particularly high on offense, where seven of the 11 starting spots are slated to be filled by seniors with previous starting experience.
Three Pack players ranked among the most experienced returning players in the ACC in terms of career starts heading into the 2012 season: safety Brandan Bishop (5th), OG R.J. Mattes (t9th) and safety Earl Wolff (t9th).
For the 2008 season, there were only two projected starters who were seniors with starting experience. In 2009, there were seven.
TFL FOR THE DL
The Wolfpack defensive line doesn't have any big-named players in 2012 ... yet. But the members of that group have definitely earned their postgame meals in the last two weeks, helping hold the last two opponents to a 2-23 mark on third down and an 0-3 mark on fourth down.
The revolving units on the defensive line (the backup unit plays about a third of the game) have tallied a dozen tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks on in the last two games.
The Citadel Game Notes
• The Citadel is 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the SoCon for the first time since 1992. That team eventually reached No. 1 in the nation, the last time the Bulldogs have been in the Top 10 until coming in at No. 10 in The Sports Network poll this week.
• The wins over Georgia Southern and Appalachian State gave the Bulldogs victories over two Top 10 teams for the first time since 1991.
• The Bulldogs had lost five in a row to Georgia Southern and eight straight and 17 of the past 18 against Appalachian State.
• The Citadel gained 618 yards in its win over Appalachian State, the most ever in a regulation game and just 23 shy of the overall record set in an overtime win over Furman in 2007.
• The Citadel will be looking for its first win over an FBS opponent since the 1992 team beat Arkansas (10-3) and Army (15-14).
The Citadel rides the emotional wave of consecutive victories over FCS Top 10 teams Georgia Southern and Appalachian State into its lone game of the year against an FBS opponent. The Bulldogs are looking to go 4-0 and defeat an FBS school for the first time since 1992.
The Citadel and NC State have not met in almost three decades, with the Wolfpack winning the most recent meeting 45-0 in 1983 to go up 4-0 in the all-time series. The Bulldogs are facing an ACC opponent for the first time since losing at North Carolina in 2009.
The Bulldogs have not defeated an ACC school since the formation of the conference in 1953. The last win over a current ACC member was a 6-0 victory over Clemson in 1931.
THE CITADEL VS. THE ACC
The ACC has not been kind to The Citadel. The Bulldogs have never defeated a school while it was member of the ACC (0-27) and have an all-time record of 6-64-2 against current conference programs.
THE CITADEL IN THE RANKINGS
One week after making its first appearance in the national polls since 2008, The Citadel made the biggest jump in both The Sports Network and FCS Coaches rankings.
The Bulldogs moved up 11 spots from No. 21 to No. 10 in The Sports Network poll, putting The Citadel in the Top 10 in the nation for the first time since finishing the 1992 regular season at No. 1.
In the coaches poll, the Citadel climbed nine spots from No. 23 to No. 14. This is the third season The Citadel has been ranked in eight years under head coach Kevin Higgins. The Bulldogs made a brief appearance at No. 25 in 2007 and spent seven weeks in the rankings the following year.
Prior to that, The Citadel had not been ranked since spending two weeks in the polls during the 1993 campaign.
THE CITADEL AS A RANKED TEAM
Dating back to 1990, the first year in which complete weekly rankings are available from The Sports Network,The Citadel has played 32 games in which it entered ranked in the Top 25, and the Bulldogs have a record of 18-14 in those games (17-12 when playing an FCS opponent).
Kevin Higgins is 4-5 when coaching a nationally-ranked Citadel team.
DOGS VS. RANKED TEAMS
With wins over Georgia Southern and Appalachian State the past two weeks, The Citadel has defeated a pair of ranked teams for the first time since 2003 and two Top 10 teams for the first time since 1991.
The win over then-No. 3 Georgia Southern marked the first time The Citadel had beaten a Top 5 team since toppling No. 1 Marshall 20-3 in 1988 and the first win over a Top 10 squad since a 23-20 overtime win over No. 8 East Tennessee State in 1997.
Dating back to the 1990 season, the first in which weekly rankings are available from The Sports Network, The Citadel has played 84 games in which its opponent was nationally ranked (FCS only) and has a record of 19-65 in those contests.
In eight seasons under head coach Kevin Higgins, the Bulldogs are 5-20 when playing a ranked team.
THE CITADEL VS. THE FBS
Since Division I was reclassified into I-A (now FBS) and I-AA (now FCS) in 1978, The Citadel has played 50 vs. teams in the higher classification. The Bulldogs have a record of 7-43 in those games and are winless in contests vs. teams which entered the game nationally ranked.
The Bulldogs had a stretch six wins in seven games against FBS opponents from 1988-92, including a 38-35 victory over South Carolina.
Since then, however, The Citadel has lost 23 straight against schools from the higher classification.
The Citadel is its third season of running the triple option offense, and its running game is again one of the most potent in the nation.
The Bulldogs are averaging 370.0 yards per game on the ground, good for third in the nation behind only fellow Southern Conference members Wofford and Georgia Southern.
The Citadel has gone over the 400-yard mark twice already this season, rushing for 479 yards and seven touchdowns against Charleston Southern and 463 and six scores against Appalachian State. In its 52-28 win over the Mountaineers last Saturday, The Citadel had three ball carriers go over the 100-yard mark, led by Ben Dupree with a career-high 180. Darien Robinson added 113 yards and Rickey Anderson had a career-best 102. The last time the Bulldogs had three players rush for more than 100 yards in a game came in 1998 against VMI.
ANDERSON ADDING UP THE TDS
Slot back Rickey Anderson is off to a fast start this season, having already scored five touchdowns including three in the opener against Charleston Southern.
He enters the NC State game with a streak of four straight games with a touchdown rush dating back to the 2011 finale against South Carolina.
A sixth-year senior who has missed all or substantial parts of three seasons with leg and knee injuries, Anderson entered the year with only three rushing touchdowns to his name.
Anderson holds Citadel season and career records for average yards per carry. A year ago he carried 52 times for 498 yards, an average of 9.58 per attempt to establish a new school mark. After rushing for a career-high 102 yards on only nine carries last week at Appalachian State, Anderson now has carried 109 times for 884 yards for a school-record 8.11 yards per attempt.
NC State Depth Chart
NOTE: *- Indicates a player has redshirted a season.
|2012 NC State Depth Chart|
The Citadel Depth Chart
Thanks to NC State and The Citadel Athletics for much of the information in this preview.